NAPA NATIONAL EXHIBITION 2011
This exhibition was held at The Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, located in Birkenhead, Wirral. The exhibition ran from 3 December to 15 January.
NAPA last showed at the Williamson Art Gallery in 2004. They returned to this prestigious venue in 2011.
111 paintings were shown by 35 of NAPA's artist members.
3 DECEMBER 2011 - 15 JANUARY 2012
FRIDAY 2 DECEMBER 2011 7.00 - 9.OO PM
WILLIAMSON ART GALLERY & MUSEUM
CH43 4UE Tel: 0151 652 4177
This was the second time that NAPA had exhibited at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum. Its success was at least partly due to the gallery staff and assistance for their superb presentation of the exhibition. In particular NAPA would like to thank Colin Simpson, Principal Museums Officer for Wirral. He acted as the host for the preview at which he said how ‘proud’ he was to have NAPA exhibit at the Williamson Art Gallery. The paintings were contributed by members from the United Kingdom but included artists from Brazil, Israel and Holland - 35 members in total. The versatility of acrylics was, as always apparent, providing all visitors with something of interest within its fascinating diversity of approaches, subjects and techniques. NAPA would like to thank Peter Macaulay for making independent assessments for the awards, he has recently successfully applied for membership and exhibited for the first time with NAPA in St. Ives 2012. We also wish to thank Catherine Hodgson for presenting these awards at the preview. NAPA was founded by Ken Hodgson in 1985 and has grown and improved under his directorship. He had expressed his intention to step back from this responsibility. Two questions had to be answered. When would it happen and who would take over from him? The answers slowly became apparent. Ken would retire as director at this preview and David Hillhouse who has been co-ordinating NAPA activities since 2000 would assume these responsibilities formally as the new director. “I would like to give my unreserved thanks to Ken Hodgson for his all embracing dedication, unending hard work and warmth he has given to the National Acrylic Painters’ Association. The road has not always been smooth but Ken has persevered, guided and inspired us from the very concept of NAPA. In his retirement he will be able to look back on many exciting episodes and look forward to many more, this time working on the sidelines. Alwyn Crawshaw, President of NAPA 2011
THE NAPA ANNUAL EXHIBITION 2011
The following is a personal review of the NAPA Annual Exhibition and opening night. Consequently I may highlight certain works that did not receive a prize.
In my view this exhibition and the opening night were memorable for a number of reasons. The high quality of the work on display, the retirement of Ken Hodgson (founder of NAPA) and a memorial display in honour of the late Arthur Gee, one of our foremost members.
The exhibition was hosted by the Williamson Art Gallery, and this is the second time that NAPA has exhibited there. The Williamson is a municipal gallery and one of the finest in the country. The paintings were expertly hung by the gallery staff, which gave the whole exhibition a tremendous visual impact. There was a real sense of occasion and anticipation when walking into the galleries that displayed members’ work. Each artist’s work had been hung as a group, as opposed to being dispersed throughout the exhibition. I think this helped the viewer to be more aware of the artist intentions/themes/concerns etc, and it also helped to create a more coherent look to the exhibition.
The opening night was well attended by the public and also NAPA members, some who had travelled a long way. The atmosphere was convivial and from my experience everybody there had a most enjoyable time.
A feature of the opening night was a presentation to Ken Hodgson who was stepping down from the day-to-day business of running the Association. NAPA members had been asked to make a financial contribution towards the presentation. The response had been generous and Ken was presented with an IPad. I formally thanked Ken for all he had done over the years with NAPA. The present success of NAPA has been built upon the sound work done by Ken since the creation of the Association in 1985.
I believe that the NAPA annual exhibition has gone from strength to strength, and this exhibition was the strongest yet. There was an international flavour to the show. Apart from contributions from all over the United Kingdom, there was also work from Brazil, Israel and Holland.
Some of the work that caught my attention were the group of urban landscapes by Deborah Batt. Her use of a flat blue for the sky helped to emphasis the structure of the tower blocks and perhaps make a comment upon the isolating effect these structures can have upon the inhabitants. David Wiseman also showed a very strong group of pictures, depicting the subtle play of light upon water. Sara Lee as always showed some beautifully crafted works. Bill Kneale’s soaring images of mountains in North Wales hovered tantalisingly between abstraction and figuration. The grandeur of the Cornish coast was impressively captured in the stunning pictures of Paul Geraghty. A single work from David Hillhouse, St Abb’s Head, First Back, as always a meticulous piece of work, and above all an intense colour study of a part of our environment. Mike Hatjoullis showed a fluid and vibrant group of paintings. Barbara Sykes and Lisa Traxler both displayed memorable images in their usual confident manner. And Anthony Gribbin’s powerful Constellation series of paintings pulled the viewer in for a closer look – hard edged paintings with an emotional charge.
A fine group of landscapes were exhibited in memory of Arthur Gee who died in 2011. These works displayed all the skill and craft that made Arthur’s work so popular. A warm, generous man and a superb artist, who will be missed.
The exhibition was well received by all who attended on the opening night, and the comments since have been equally positive. As a result of the exhibition a further two artist have been elected into membership. All in all, an excellent exhibition organised by artists for artists, which continues to demonstrate the depth of quality work to be found in NAPA. I felt proud to have exhibited in such a strong and exciting show.
Because membership is spread throughout the country and beyond, members rarely meet with each other. Opening nights afford members the chance to meet each other in a friendly atmosphere. If you can, come along to the next opening.
Alan Edwards NAPA 2012.NAPA AWARDS 2011 WILLIAMSON ART GALLERY
PRESIDENT’S AWARD The President’s own award of £100 for the painting of his choice.Awarded to catalogue No. 62 “St Abb’s Head First Back” by David Hillhouse
ADRIAN HENRI MEMORIAL AWARD An award of £100 in memory of former NAPA President Adrian Henri.Awarded to catalogue Nos. 106 & 107 “Pitshanger Riverside, Drifting Reflecting” and “Pitshanger Riverside, Light Fading” by David Wiseman.
GLOBAL ART SUPPLIES LTD An award of £250 for the purchase of Acrylic materials selected from the Global Art Supplies catalogue. Awarded to catalogue No. 88 “Intimation” by Anita Reid
FINE ART TRADE GUILD. A Fine Art Trade Guild Award of a free year’s subscription to their ‘Art Business Today’ magazine. Awarded to catalogue No. 4 “Mousehole” by Anthony BarrowPRO ARTE
A presentation case of artists’ brushes. Awarded to catalogue No. 30 “The Actress” by Alan EdwardsTHE ARTIST
One year’s subscription to ‘The Artist Magazine. Awarded to catalogue No. 48 “Constellation II” by Anthony Gribbin